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Biological Sciences
We perform Biological Systems Science research using prediction and experimentation to understand the design of biological systems, translating the genome to functional capabilities for applications to energy, environment, and health. Microbial community research at PNNL is focusing on environment and energy processes, and rational design and development of new bioprocesses, while our health-related research is centering on how multicellular systems, tissues and organisms respond to disease and exposure to the environment.

Waters Appointed to New National Academies Committee

Congratulations to Dr. Katrina Waters, Deputy Director of Biological Sciences at PNNL on her appointment to a new National Academies Study on Predictive-Toxicology Approaches. The study committee will evaluate modern toxicology approaches for use by the Department of Defense to predict toxicity, in efforts to prevent debilitating acute exposures to deployed personnel.

Ovarian cancer image

Comprehensive Proteomic Dataset of Ovarian Tumor Samples Released

A collaboration between researchers from PNNL and Johns Hopkins University has produced a comprehensive dataset of the proteomic analyses of high-grade serous ovarian tumor samples. Such tumors are the most common cancer of the ovary. The dataset provides researchers the opportunity to develop and test novel proteogenomic integration tools and algorithms to extend their understanding of cancer biology and how genomic through proteomic changes interact to drive cancer-information that can help identify clinical targets for treatment. The dataset was released June 16 by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC). This is the one of the largest public datasets covering the proteome, phosphoproteome, and glycoproteome with complementary deep genomic sequencing data on the same tumor.

Aluminum EXAFS and zeolite structure

Creating a GPS for Aluminum Ions

Employing a combination of methods devised at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Swiss Light Source, scientists determined the distribution of aluminum ions in zeolites, which are widely used by industry. In the first example of this approach, the scientists analyzed two chemical compositions of a structural variant. They found that the aluminum atoms, which are critical to the catalytic activity, preferentially replace silicon atoms at certain sites.

Premature baby

Mapping Molecules in the Human Lung

A team of PNNL scientists will perform an unprecedented, systematic study, mapping the molecular components of normal lung development during late term and early childhood. They recently were awarded $4.5 million over 5 years by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to develop a molecular atlas of the developing human lung (LungMAP). Lung development from 4 months before birth through 2 years of age is crucial to the lifelong health of an individual and remains the critical factor in newborn viability. However, little is known of human lung development at this critical period. Thus, expanding understanding of early human lung development is key to promoting proper lung formation in preterm infants and has significant implications toward reducing their high mortality rate.


PNNL Team Wins R&D 100 Award for SALVI

A small window to the world of liquid interfaces has won an R&D 100 Award for a team of PNNL researchers. Xiao-Ying Yu, Zihua Zhu, Bingwen Liu, Martin Iedema and Matthew Marshall of PNNL and collaborators James Cowin and Li Yan developed the System for Analysis at the Liquid Vacuum Interface (SALVI), a novel innovation that allows a new level of molecular insight and liquid analysis that can be deployed in a range of instruments.

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